NY Made It Easier For Kids To Pass Regents Exams

By Erika Hanson | 1 month ago

regents exams

In a growing fashion, standardized tests are being questioned by not only students but parents and education experts as well. Over the years, more and more studies have argued that these statewide end-of-year tests fail to measure students’ education quality, and are therefore ineffective and useless by many counts. As this belief gains traction across the United States, one state is now making it easier for students to pass regents exams.

On Tuesday, May 17th, the New York State board of regents approved a measure to show further leniency on students’ test scores for the regents exams, according to reports from Chalkbeat. Students will still have to score at least a 65 on the tests to receive a passing score. However, they will now be able to appeal failing scores, if they range anywhere from a 50 to 64. The new ruling went into effect immediately and will apply to students taking the standardized tests this school year.

Seemingly unsure of how The Empire State education officials want to weigh in on regents exams in the future, this decision marks the third year straight the state officials have changed the requirements on these exit exams. When COVID first disrupted school districts across the nation during the 2019-2020 school year, New York canceled the exams altogether. During the 2019-2020 school year, students were not required to pass the exams at all in order to graduate. This year, before this new ruling went into effect, New York saw the return of the test requirements to graduate, and until yesterday, the appeals ruling only applied to test scores ranging from 60-64. Furthermore, the requirements to appeal were stricter, as students could only appeal a score if they were proven to have received additional academic help, and an exemption from their teacher or a department chair holder.

While the push to end regents exams has been growing for quite some time, the pandemic persuaded state officials to make changes to the requirements, as many felt it was unfair to allow the plethora of school disruptions to hold back so many students. In a memo affirming these new changes, state officials pointed to the “adverse impacts” and learning loss felt across the state. Furthermore, COVID once again ravaged New York school districts, again disrupting academics. When the highly-contagious omicron variant spread through New York City schools last winter, many children were left at home with nearly no school instruction. Likewise, chronic absenteeism has become a major issue in The Big Apple. Student attendance rates are dipping to record levels, and only getting worse as the school year comes to an end.

While the decision to alleviate requirements for New York state regents exams will likely mean that more students will be able to graduate this year, some wonder why the state didn’t simply decide to remove the exam requirements altogether. To this, state officials declared that they still feel that these standardized tests are important in measuring student success. Similarly, they stated that the test scores help officials weigh in on overall success or failure, helping them shape curriculums and requirements for the future.

regents exams

Despite the fact that regents exams will now be easier to pass in New York, many students still worry over the cumbersome tests. College admissions can weigh in on regents’ scores, and affect a student’s chance to be accepted into a college. Also within the decades of research opposing them, some studies claim standardized tests harm students of color, and those from low-income families. It might be time for America to reevaluate the importance of these tests.